Associated Oregon Loggers Raise Funds, Awareness

While enjoying their annual meeting, celebrating contributions and raising money for local children’s hospitals, Oregon loggers learned about the challenges contractors face going forward at the Associated Oregon Loggers’ 53rd annual convention in January.

According to AOL Executive Vice President Rex Storm, the 2023 AOL Convention, held at Spirit Mountain Lodge and Event Center in Grand Ronde, was a solid success, as more than 300 AOL members and industry friends attended.

The theme, “Sustainable Contracting in a New Economy,” was common throughout a day and a half of programming, and was highlighted by the keynote presentation of professional negotiator Ed Brodow. Ed gave attending contractors the most straight-forward, real world and useful advice on negotiating for business success in this new economy. Brodow’s negotiation bootcamp talk helped build confidence to “make win-win deals,” using tools that every logger needs in their toolbox.

“The event combined education, awards and celebration, interesting speakers, useful business topics, time to connect with fellow members, fun entertainment and dining,” Storm said. Session topics included negotiation in business, forest rescue, H-2B Visa program, election recap and lobby outlook, building a future workforce, workers comp insurance outlook, trucking updates, and forest practices rule changes. Many sessions allowed attendees to earn OPL Continuing Education credits—a total of 9 CE credits were offered throughout the Convention.

Storm added that the grand finale, a Roaring 20s themed evening, focused on raising funds for the three Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in Oregon.

Recognition Dinner, Awards Program

  • During the annual convention, leadership and dedication awards were given out to Greg Schmitz, Schmitz Timber Management, for 2011-22 Executive Committee Service, and to Rick Kriege, Kriege Logging, for his 2021-22 AOL President Service.
  • AOL staff members Roger Lulay and Shanna Kinzer received 30 years of service and 10 years of service awards, respectively.
  • Top 2022 Awards included Safety Professional 2022, Larry Kirkpatrick, Kirkpatrick Logging; Women of the Year 2022, Cari & Ciara Freeman, Alpha Omega Trucking; and Logger of the Year 2022, Bruce Zuber, Zuber & Sons Logging.

The event’s festivities included a full slate of auctions—silent, live, and dessert. The fun incuded a parade of costumes costume contest and the ever-popular Heads or Tails competition. This year, checks were presented to hospital representatives for a total of $103,367. Storm gave special thanks to the event’s donors, bidders, AOL’s Log A Load Committee, staff, and Jaime Yraguen, of Basco Logging who served as the Master of Ceremonies and auctioneer, for the combined effort.

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